No fewer than 95 butchers in Bauchi have been infected with an animal related disease known as ‘Brucellosis’ in the state.
Deputy Director, Veterinary Services, Bauchi state Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Istifanus Irimiya, disclosed this over the weekend in an interview with newsmen.
According to him, the figure was out of the 224 butchers from Bauchi, Misau and Katagum local government areas, who were tested positive at a laboratory screening.
He explained that Brucellosis is a contagious disease transmitted by ruminants to human beings particularly butchers, herdsmen and veterinarians who interact with animals on regular basis.
“The disease is transmitted through consumption of unboiled milk, meat, raw meat, blood of the infected animals as well as lack of proper sanitation and hygiene.
“The symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache, sweating at night, victims at times cannot talk and abortion in pregnant women,” he said.
Irimiya said the disease was discovered in the state by one Dr Philip Bobu-Igiwe, a student on internship from the Centre for Disease Control, Georgia, America under the umbrella of the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFETLP), with centres in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Ibadan, and Nsukka and such centres where medical and veterinary doctors carry out research on how to cure animal diseases that affects people.
He said the discovery was made after the test was conducted by the Federal Ministry of Health, with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the blood samples of 224 butchers from three abattoirs.
“The Institute then donated 8, 000 dosages of drugs to the patients found infected with the disease and the drugs were distributed free of charge to the affected butchers,” the director said.
He pointed out that sensitization and enlightenment campaign would be carried out in collaboration with traditional leaders to enlighten the people on the dangers of the disease.
Also commenting, the chairman, Bauchi Butchers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Baba Uba , commended government over the gesture especially that such disease was unknown in this part of the country.